Christmas on Stocking Island

For Christmas 2017, we decided to do "Christmas Lite" and venture to bring only 2-3 gifts for each child and try to make things festive using our natural surroundings, with a few bells and whistles thrown into a duffel bag.  We settled on packing som tinsel and holiday ornaments to decorate a shrub or a pine branch if we could find one.  And of course, we packed some Christmas lights to run up the mast.  Celebrating at the cruiser's outpost Stocking Island, near Georgetown, Bahamas, felt like the right place to "hang our holiday stockings."  We hoisted a pine branch on the trampoline, decorated it as best we could, and placed some very rumpled gifts around it.  In the morning, we plodded around on deck over our children's berth making reindeer noises, and shouted "Santa has landed!"  When our oldest Zelda came running upstairs, she looked at our poorly hoisted, scrubby brush plant with all the rumpled paper gifts around it and shouted in dismay "Oh no!! Somebody has left all their garbage on our boat!"  We tried to clarify, "Honey, but this is OUR Christmas!  Isn't it lovely...?"  Apparently a Christmas Elf also left some stickers in a cave that we had to go spelunking to discover.  The highlight was spending the day onshore with other cruisers where everyone pulled together a magical potluck of mostly lobster and fish and few classic and traditional dishes we were very surprised to see (how on earth people made turkey and green bean souffle on their boats, I will never know!).  The children danced and played,  jumped on Zelda's Christmas present (an inflatable flamingo!), and had a jolly time in the true essence of what Christmas should be.  We were rewarded for our efforts with a mgaical swim at the end of the day with two visiting dolphins.